Media release: Videos highlight the benefits of apprenticeships in the West Highlands

Liberty Aluminium

DEVELOPING the Young Workforce (DYW) West Highland, forms part of the Scottish Government youth employment strategy to better prepare young people for the world of work.

They are regionally hosted by Lochaber Chamber of Commerce and as part of their promotion have released their final series of inspirational and educational video case studies showcasing apprenticeship programmes in a diverse range of industry sectors across Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.

The five short films, easily accessible online through the DYW West Highland YouTube Channel, capture win-win examples of apprenticeship programmes in a mixture of private and public sector organisations from the perspective of both the businesses and their apprentices.

The informative five minute videos, featuring Liberty Aluminium, Forestry & Land Scotland, CalMac, The Highland Council and West Highland College UHI, provide versatility for a younger audience still in school and further education, inspiring them and encouraging them to consider the ‘earn whilst you learn’ route as a fantastic and meaningful ‘Plan A’ career path.

They also act as an effective promotional tool for the businesses who have taken part and an incentive for other businesses to get involved.

Ged Kilcoin, Recruitment & Talent specialist, Liberty British Aluminium, said: “We continue to recruit Apprentices to invest in the careers and development of our young workers at Liberty. Many of our leaders in today’s business, started their career on an Apprenticeship scheme and have worked their way through the organisation. They therefore appreciate the value and benefits of a successful Apprenticeship scheme and we will continue to invest in new Apprentices each year.”

By featuring first-hand accounts of young apprentices working in businesses across the West Highlands, the videos effectively outline why apprenticeship programmes offer a credible alternative pathway to young people seeking a high-flying career.

They also demonstrate the wide range of industry sectors, apprenticeship programmes and career opportunities that are available across the region.

BSW Timber, Ferguson Transport & Shipping, Gael Force, Mowi and the Lovat Hotel have already showcased apprentices from their business for DYW West Highland’s year-long promotional video campaign when their apprenticeship videos were launched at the start of 2019.

Caroline Gregory, a passionate advocate for apprenticeships and member of the employer-led board of DYW West Highland, said: “The Apprenticeship in Hospitality Scotland has paved the way for our future young talent with our team and business benefitting from their growth and success as they develop their careers, and themselves, over the course of their apprenticeship.”

One of the recently-appointed members of staff at the Lovat Hotel was so inspired, not only by DYW West Highland’s video showcasing apprenticeships at the hotel, but also on hearing how passionately the owner, Caroline Gregory, spoke about their exciting apprenticeship programme, she is now enrolled as a hospitality apprentice.

The Scottish Apprenticeship programme offers flexible framework options with over 120 apprenticeships available for businesses, large or small, ranging from construction to digital media.

They provide an excellent array of opportunities, as demonstrated through DYW West Highland’s apprenticeship video series. There is also funding available towards apprenticeships, where Skills Development Scotland contribute towards the training costs, whilst businesses pay the apprentices’ wages just like any other employee.


Media contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E:

M: +44 (0)7913 951717

Images attached – please credit Developing the Young Workforce West Highland

Notes for editors

DYW West Highland Apprenticeship Videos

The videos can be found at the following links:

The films highlight apprenticeship roles in: mechanical engineering, trees and timber, deck hand apprentice, engine room apprentice, HGV mechanic, business administration and electrician apprentices.

The video case studies truly capture and celebrate the exciting range and diversity of career opportunities in Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.

In the interviews the apprentices talk about their day-to-day work experiences, what drives their enthusiasm for their apprenticeships, the excellent opportunities they have been given and their hopes for the future as a direct result of their apprenticeships. Their employers are also featured highlighting the fantastic on the job training and other career opportunities their employees gain on apprenticeship programmes, as well as the benefits of apprenticeships to their organisations.

For the wider business community, the case studies highlight the strength and depth of talent to be found within local schools and colleges that can be nurtured by employers through apprenticeship programmes; leading to a thriving regional economy.

For the wider business community, the case studies highlight the strength and depth of talent to be found within local schools and colleges that can be nurtured by employers through apprenticeship programmes; leading to a thriving regional economy.

Lesley Benfield, DYW West Highland Programme director, said: “Businesses know that apprenticeships give young people the practical skills and qualifications that their business needs and young people are finding they can become valued employees early in their working careers by using the apprenticeship route to qualification. Learning whilst earning has become an increasingly attractive alternative to full time academic study and employers are reporting that taking on apprentices is resulting in growth and increased productivity in their business.

“We hope that our video series will encourage more businesses to harness the amazing fresh talent we have here in the West Highlands and realise the potential of using the apprenticeship framework to upskill existing employees.”

The DYW West Highland

DYW West Highland is hosted by Lochaber Chamber of Commerce and covers Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.

Launched late summer 2016, DYW West Highland forms part of the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment strategy, which aims to ensure young people in Scotland have the skills and confidence needed to make the seamless transition between school and the workforce. There are 21 regional DYW groups in Scotland, leading and driving the change in employers’ engagement with schools and colleges.

Working as a synthesis of schools, partner agencies, employers, parents, carers and young people, DYW West Highland’s goal is to bridge the gap between learning and working to allow each respective group to engage with one another, fostering a culture of collaboration through a variety of opportunities.

The DYW West Highland team aim to expand opportunities to young people, through employer-led initiatives, so that they gain valuable workplace skills and further education opportunities, making them more attractive to employers. In doing so, they can help employers shape the future workforce of the West Highlands and help better prepare young people for the world of work.

Businesses looking into hiring someone new, to up-skill an existing employee; or to get involved in employer-led employability activities in schools that will inspire them to pursue the skills to work within their organisations, are encouraged to get in touch with DYW West Highland.

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